Thursday, December 31, 2009
What's Hot: Colorful Flat Straightening Irons
Why You Should *Never*
Buy One From a Mall Kiosk
FHI Heat™'s new Go™styling irons (details follow, included in a list of more noteworthy and trustworthy products) were the inspiration for today's look at colorful flat or straightening irons, available in a wide range of price points.
In researching this story, we did discover some interesting tidbits, the most formidable is in regards why you should NOT buy a styling product from the hard-sell flat iron sellers at mall kiosks throughout the country (or at least in southern California).
The aggressive salespeople always " just want to show you something" as they beckon you over to their kiosk, and that is to run their impressive iron over your hair, to show that you can straighten as well as curl, without burning the hair. They will then make lot of claims that their irons are completely ceramic and completely healthy. There will be a non-stop monologue during the demonstration.
You may wonder why all the sales people have accents and also seem associated with other kiosk sellers of "Dead Sea" salts, lotions, nail buffers and microwavable "all natural" heating pads, pillows, etc. An article in the Jewish Journal notes that many of the well-trained salespeople are newly arrived from Israel and recruited for the super hard-sell.
While the iron, often the Corioliss (or Cortex) performs well in demonstrations, there are literally hundreds of complaints on the web including the following, which will hopefully deter you from buying from a mall kiosk:
1. Mall kiosk flat irons are often sold through the wily persuasiveness of the salespeople, and the impressive demonstration on your hair -- but you should be aware that they may use the Corioliss Flat Iron on your hair for demonstrations and sell you the HerStyler. They may tell you that the box has a different name, but it is the same company. Whether it is or not (we cannot attest to either), is beside the point.
2. Unquestionably, the problem with even the authentic Corioliss is that it apparently does not hold up to normal at-home usage -- bear in mind that the online posted complaints we're noting here were in the dozens and dozens. Repeated complaints are that the cord is flimsy and will often break, as early as within three months (see image above of pink Cortex cord).
3. The ceramic plates (kiosk sellers will tell you Chi is only partial and theirs is fully ceramic and may even have items to demonstrate) crack and break.
4. Returns at the kiosks are pretty near impossible. There are reports of the salesperson not being at the kiosk upon attempted return, of being told to return when the "owner" or "manager" are available (and they seemingly never are). The receipt will not ensure you consumer protection. If you ask for a company phone number, you will be given the runaround or the number will be wrong.
5. You could try what one buyer did and ask for a return policy signed and in writing, indicating that if you are unsatisfied, you can get a full refund (this isn't likely, they're more likely to tell you it's fine, etc. etc, just to get you to buy; there's also the possibility that whether they really are or not, the person at the kiosk may tell you that salesperson no longer works there and wasn't authorized to do that). Expect that they will tell you "exchange only," and may even go so far as to say that you have to ship the iron to the manufacturer (incurring postal costs yourself) to get another, even if there are many at the kiosk.
6. If you have to have a Corioliss or Cortex iron, remember this: the mall kiosk seller, no matter how much they tell you that they're giving you a big discount off the $199 retail price ("i will give it to you today for only $129, or $100 or $89"), will ALWAYS charge more than an online retailer (and we're talking about including shipping and handling from an internet seller).
7. Despite repeated claims that their (mall kiosk) styling tool is completely healthy for your hair, many who purchased from them found they dry the hair.
(BeansTalk tip: use a good moisturizing conditioner -- if you are concerned about the extra moisturizers making hair greasy at the roots/scalp, use the condition only from the neck down, or if your hair is short, only on the ends. Also use a "heat protector product; we use Chi, but there are many others available.)
8. The bottom line: if you buy a Corioliss Flat Iron from a mall kiosk, you may not even get the same iron they used on you for their demonstration, you'll pay more for the same item than you would online, there's a gigantic chance you can't return it, and, if the kiosk sellers agree to exchange it, it could be a time suck. You're also likely to get a seller who will say whatever they have to, to get you to pull out your card or coin for the item.
All that said, you might consider the flat irons we've suggested here (see below). Again, we were inspired by our friend Carolyn, who reps FHI and sent us their release:
FHI Heat's GoStyling
"What we aimed for is something fashionable, yet effective and affordable for women of all ages," states Phillip Wilson, International Creative Director for FHI Heat, Inc., a manufacturer of ceramic styling irons since 2003.. "These irons perform as well as expensive professional tools but at a fraction of the price. What makes them unique is that they come in a greater range of colors, which is important to younger fashionistas."
The Gostyling irons feature brightly-colored, scratch-resistant, ceramic coated plates covered with a high quantity of tourmaline crystals which results in a large negative ion count. Other features include: a beveled edge for curling, flipping and twisting hair; an extra-long 9-foot swivel cord; gentle far infrared heat and low EMF; and an advanced heater with adjustable temperature control that allows the temperature to range from 140 to 410 degrees F. The iron retails for $79.99 and comes in 5 colors: Teal, Red, Pink, Black and Purple.
The Go irons also feature a special dual voltage plug that will allow consumers to plug the irons into various types of outlets which operate on different voltages.
These new Go styling irons are available at Ulta, Trade Secret, Beauty First, Pure Beauty, and Mia and Maxx stores. Other FHI Heat products are available at fine hair salons and professional beauty retailers nationwide, via toll-free number at 877.FHI.HEAT (877.344.4328) and online at www.gohairstyling.com. Products offered by FHI Heat include blow dryers, styling irons, curling irons, shears, heat-activated conditioners, styling clips, carbon combs, brushes and a chemical straightening system. For more information, please call 877.FHI.HEAT or visit the website www. www.gohairstyling.com.
Here are other colorful irons to consider (most verbiage is pulled right from the website mentioned):
Croc Designer 1" Flat Iron
Croc Designer 1" Flat Iron has an outstanding ergonomic design that offers light weight, balance handling without strain.
Features and Benefits:
• Revolutionary Automatic Temperature Reserve system
• Automatically decreases temperature to 370F when unattended
• Temperature will instantly return to reserved temperature once in use
• Auto shut off setting is activated when no movement is detected for 30 minutes
• Buoyant plates and rounded barrel creates vivacious curls, flips and straight hair
• Far-infrared and ionic benefits
• Fully digital with 17 heat settings from 280F-450F
• Black Nano Titanium Plates with Ceramic heater seal in moisture, adds silky shine and longer lasting style
$135.00 + free shipping was $150.00 save 10% folica.com
Amika 1" Pro-Styler
Amika 1" Pro-Styler features a unique floating plates design allows you to not just straighten, but also to create waves, curls, flips ,volume and many more styles all with one styler.
The Amika 1" Pro-Styler features Nano Silver Technology, a rapidly growing science of producing and utilizing nano-sized particles. Nano Silver technology is sprayed on to the plates so when the styler is used it produces a film on top of the plates that cleans hair of 99.9% of all bacteria and germs.
Nano Silver works as a deodorizer, cleaning hair of bad smells that come from daily exposure to toxins and pollution. Plus the bacteria sitting in your hair dulls the surface. Nano Technology helps hair hang on to more moisture for improved conditioning and shine. It also rids hair of chemicals, pollutants and removes bacteria
• Destroys 99.9% of bacteria and pollutants while styling
• Tourmaline ceramic plates
• Infrared and negative-ion technology
• Straight, curly and wavy styles
• Available in 3 colors! Pure Silver, Solid Gold, Blush Pink
$134.10 + free shipping was $250.00 save 47% on folica.com
BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium
Ultra Thin 1" Flat Iron
BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron features a built-in ionic generator and recessed LED electronic temperature controls. This tool performs up to 40% faster than many straightening irons available today.
• High heat levels up to 450 degrees
• Nano Titanium plates conduct heat and maintain stability in ultra high temperatures
• LCD temporary display
• Digital ionic technology emits negative ions
• Slim design
• Ultra light weight
• Swivel power cord
• Extra long 1" plates
• 4 year limited warranty
$129.99 + free shipping was $160.00 save 19% on folica.com
CHI Nano Ceramic Flat Iron
"Nano Silver Technology" is a health system which works to eliminate bacteria from appliances to promote a germ-free zone of protection for your health and safety. This high tech flat iron utilizes Ceramic Technology, Negative Ions, Far Infrared, and Nano silver technology. Features include flash heating in under 10 seconds, curved edge plates for curling and straightening, and a temperature setting from 302-356 degrees F. Innovative Nano Silver Technology in the iron eliminates bacteria on the appliance, creating a germ-free environment every time you use it.
• 1" Ceramic plates
• Curved edge plate design to curl, straighten and flip
• Non Adjustable Temperature
• Professional Salon Model
• Far infrared flash heating in only 6-10seconds
• Energy saving - Uses only 20-25 watts of electricity
• Ergonomic design
• Ceramic ionic technology reduces frizz and creates shiny silky hair instantly
• Nano Silver Technology eliminates bacteria from the handle promoting a germ free environment
• Swivel power cord.
$127.95 + free shipping was $200.00 save 37% on folica.com
Solia Pink Limited Edition Flat Iron
(1") plus free heat proof pouch
Solia's 1" Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Flat Iron is extremely user friendly and versatile. It can straighten, curl, bend, flip, and spiral your hair. One iron for endless salon style possibilities!
What makes the Solia Pink Limited Edition Ceramic Flat Iron so unique? A Dynamic Alignment System to ensure perfect contact between your hair and the plates. Constant plate contact with the hair means even heat distribution for true silky sexy straight hair. Ceramic and Tourmaline ionic technology generates gentle far-infrared heat and additional extra negative ions to create perfectly frizz-free hair without heat damage. For the healthiest and fastest styling; true curling and straightening results the Solia Limited Edition Pink Flat Iron is the future of styling.
• Plate width size of 1 inch. Ceramic/Tourmaline infused plates
• Tourmaline ions eliminate static electricity and seal the cuticle layer for hair that is smooth, shiny and silky.
• Dynamic Alignment System Self Adjusting Plates provide Perfect contact with
• Generates far-infrared heat penetrating into the hair shaft to lock in moisture and lock in haircolor.
• Stylish design Limited Edition pink color. (Also available in Original Model with Black/Blue design)
• Versatile: This iron will straightens, bend, flips, spirals and curls the hair.
• Ceramic/Tourmaline Ion plates give a shinier, silkier result than regular ceramic flat irons in lesser time.
• Ceramic/Tourmaline Ion plates emits up to 6 times more negative ions.
• Variable Temperature Control (140oF - 450oF): Works with all hair types
• Ceramic heater with autosense (TM) technology provides instant even heat.
• Slim 1 inch plate width, is extremely user friendly for curling, straightening and twisting. (Other sizes in black/blue design also available: mini 3/4 inch, 1-1/4 inch and 1-3/4 inch)
• Heating plates have wrap around edge for easy finishing touches!
• Wet to dry: can be used on damp or dry hair
• Contoured easy grip handles.
• Professional 9' power cord with 360 degree swivel.
• 120V 60Hz for use in US/Canada.
• Two years limited warranty.
$84.99 + FREE SHIPPING was $149.95 save 44% on folica.com
Pure Heat Earthstik Flat Iron Style with care™
Made of 50% Recycled Material and 14% Recycled Components
• 1" x 3.5" plates
• Heats from 170° F to 400° F
Pure Heat™ features a line of eco-friendly styling tools that provide you with beautiful hair while making a minimal footprint on our soil. Our tools are designed using recycled components, energy saving technology and recycled packaging -- finally a tool your hair and planet earth will love.
• Infused with nano tourmaline which is naturally biodegradable to create incredibly healthy, shiny styles
• Ceramic fusion technology from NASA prevents rough spots, chemical stains and chipping
• Floating plates for controlled slip without tension or pull
• 50% recycled packaging materials
• 14% recycled components
• Water soluble ink packaging
• Lightweight, only 8 oz.
• Heats from 170° F to 400° F
• Swivel cord
• Ergonomic design
• RoHS compliant for non-toxic materials
• Pure Heat™ tools emit dramatically lower EMF levels (electromagnetic fields)
Operates at 110 volts AC, for use in the United States, Canada & Mexico.
A portion of the sale of each Pure Heat™ product will be donated to EarthShare®. EarthShare® supports a nationwide network of America's leading non-profit environmental and conservation organizations. Their mission is to engage individuals and organizations in creating a healthy and sustainable environment. Visit earthshare.org for more information. Pure Heat™ has partnered with EarthShare® in a commitment to make this a better planet for everyone.
All Pure Heat™ ceramic styling tools are manufactured in China under the strict specifications of Pure Heat™
$89 sale $68 drugstore.com
Brazilian Heat - Tourmaline & Ceramic 1"
Flat Iron Brand: Brazilian Heat
Size: 1 inch
Power: 220 Watts
Weight: 1.89 lbs
- 1" Tourmaline infused ceramic plates: Best and safest heat delivery method for glossy, smooth hair
- Ready in 30 seconds- no wait marathon styling
- 6 Heat settings up to 450 degrees: From fine and fragile to coarse and curly hair
- 9ft 360 degree swivel cord: No pulling or twirling around the chair or at home
- Digital temperature lock: Allows you to set temperature without accidentally changing it
- Plus FREE Thermal pouch included
2 Year Limited Warranty
Price: $89.00ON SALE: $69.99 at flatirons.com
HAI Style Mate Mini Flat Iron
Exclusive to Folica.com HAI Style Mate Mini Flat Iron for straightening, curling or adding flip!
Features and Benefits:
• 1" by 2 1/2" Ceramic plates
• Silicone ball technology provides ultra sensitive floating plates
• Plates automatically adjust to hair's thickness and texture
• Nano Tourmaline creates shinier, healthier, smoother hair
• Protects hair color while it conditions
• Anti-bacterial surface
• Negative Ion Technology and Far Infrared rays gently close the cuticle
• Generates even heat throughout with quick temperature recovery time
• Leaves hair more manageable
• Digital temperature gauge up to 390 degrees
• Heats up in 5 seconds
• Extra light-weight, only 6 ounces
• Super small, measures only 6 1/2" long
• Non-slip finger grips
• Professional 9 foot cord
• Limited warranty
$59.95 + FREE SHIPPING was $78.00 YOU SAVE 24% on folica.com
Hot Tools Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Stowaway Mini Flat Iron 1 1/4", Model 3166
Bonus Heat-Resistant Travel Pouch Gets Hot... Stays Hot®
• Variable Heat
• Dual Voltage
• Full-Size Performance
• Travel Size Convenience
Increasing Shine, Preserving Moisture, Reducing Frizz Ceramic's far-infrared heat goes through the cuticle directly to the cortex. The cuticle is not over-heated, shine is increased and moisture is preserved. Tourmaline's negative ions help lock in moisture for enhanced hydration and reduced frizz. Titanium additive provides a more durable styling surface.
Look good on the go! Compact iron easily fits in your purse, luggage, anywhere
1. Ceramic(Ti) and Tourmaline's far-infrared heat and negative ions produce shinier, softer hair
2. Variable heat settings for any hair type
3. Creates glossy shine in any type or texture of hair
4. 1 - 1/4" plates perfect for any hair length
5. On/off switch
6. 6 ft. professional cord
7. Bonus! Heat-resistant storage / travel pouch
• Dual voltage for worldwide travel
• One-year warranty
The Hot Tools Story Hot Tools® appliances have become the standard for professional hairdressers. With patented, powerful heating systems in curling irons and flat irons, plus advanced technology in hair dryers, Hot Tools® are demanded by stylists performing in the highest pressure styling environments including film, TV, photo shoots and backstage styling at hair shows. Beauty is serious business... use Hot Tools®!
Made in China Ti is the symbol for Titanium. For product information, HotTools.com
$60 reg, $30 sale at drugstore.com
Remington Shine Therapy 1" Conditioning Flat Iron
• Highest grade ceramic plates infused with conditioners and avocado oil
• Vitamin E and Avocado Oil infused ceramic plates
• Instantly noticeable shine!
• 220°C / 430°F salon high heat
• 30 second instant heat
• Digital precise temperature control
• Floating plates
• Micro-conditioners evenly emit during styling
• No oily residue
• Lasts the lifetime of the product
• 4 year warranty
How does it work? Next generation ceramic plates with special porous properties have been infused with a blend of conditioners and avocado oil that evenly emit during styling.
The conditioner comes to the plate surface during heating and operation of the flat iron and is transferred to the hair during styling to add shine and protect the hair from unnecessary thermal stress. $50 reg. $37.50 sale at Drugstore.com
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tips for a bright New Year's
Smile from Dr. Sherri Worth
Before your New Year’s kiss, that smile should be extra sparkly—let’s dare to say it should be even more dazzling than the New Year’s Eve ball. When you are two weeks away from your big night, celebrity dentist Dr. Sherri Worth says, “Crest White Strips are perfect. They are not like using professional bleach trays, but they can make a difference.”
Before ringing in 2010, Dr. Worth says, “Put in your bleaching trays with the new Day White 38% bleaching solution for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening.” This will get your pearly whites one step closer to a movie-star smile.
For maximum results, drop by the dentists office for a Zoom in-office power bleach. Get dramatically whiter in an hour while watching your favorite movie or returning emails. It has become as much of a routine as coloring your hair.
FUN FACT: “Whitening pens don’t really work,” states Dr. Worth, “Save your cash!”
FOR EXTREMELY WHITE TEETH
Dr. Worth says, “The combo treatment of Zoom Bleach in-office whitening treatment followed by a fluoride treatment, and then continue with at home bleaching trays regularly for one week after will get your teeth super white!”
Dr. Worth has been interviewed and featured in publications including Vogue, Elle, InStyle, Marie Claire, Star, People, US Weekly, Women's Health, Fitness, Men's Health, Variety, In Touch, Orange Coast, Coast, Riviera, Angeleno, Woman's Day, Woman's Day, 944, Details, and Sports Illustrated.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Virus Kills Millions:
BBC America's Survivor
From a BBC America press release: Imagine what would happen if a virulent disease scoured the planet, wiping out 99% of the human race. It kills every member of your family, your lovers, friends, neighbors and probably everyone you have ever known. Imagine the world stripped of all the conveniences of the 21st Century – no law, no shops, no communications, no transport, no electricity, no clean water. This is the apocalyptic scenario facing the heroes at the center of this chilling new drama series, brought to you by the co-creator and writer of Primeval. Set in the present day, Survivors focuses on the world in the aftermath of a virus where only a lonely few are left to start over in a devastated world where everything that was once safe and familiar is now strange and dangerous. The 12 episode season of Survivors premieres Saturday, February 13, 8:00p.m. ET/PT - subsequent episodes premiere at 9:00p.m. ET/PT.
In the middle of the story is a bewildered but resilient group of survivors led by Abby Grant, a woman whose strength comes from a burning need to find out if her young son is still alive. Other members of the group include Greg (a good man who hides the pain of his past), Anya (a doctor who has seen too many people die) and Al, a former playboy who becomes surrogate father to streetwise urchin Najid. Then there is Tom, outwardly handsome and charming, but actually a dangerous and ruthless man who, unbeknown to the others, was a high-security prisoner before the virus hit.
This brave new world brings an opportunity for new beginnings, but also terrible dangers – not just the daily struggle for food and water, but also a deadly threat from other survivors. The cast includes Julie Graham as Abby Grant, Paterson Joseph as Greg, Freema Agyeman as Jenny, Max Beesley as Tom Price, Phillip Rhys as Al, Zoë Tapper as Anya, Nikki Amuka–Bird as Samantha Willis, Shaun Dingwall as David and newcomer Chahak Patel as 11-year-old Najid.
“Survivors is about what it means to be human,” says award-winning writer and executive producer Adrian Hodges (co-creator and writer of Primeval). “It asks questions about our nature and confronts us with our deepest fears. When everything else is stripped away, would we band together and find the best in ourselves, or would we fall apart and retreat into barbarism and savagery?”
Hodges’ Survivors is a re-imagining of the classic ‘70s BBC drama series, and is based on the novel by Terry Nation. Hodges adds: “Survivors is about adventure, fear, love, loyalty and friendship. But above all, it’s about new hope.”
Abby Grant Julie Graham (William and Mary, Bonekickers)
Greg Preston Paterson Joseph (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, The Beach)
Jenny Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who, Detective Agency, The Beach)
Tom Price Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon, Bodies)
Al Sadiq Philip Rhys (Nip/Tuck, 24)
Anya Zoë Tapper (Stage Beauty, Demons)
Samantha Willis Nikki Amuka-Bird
David Shaun Dingwall
Najid Chahak Patel
Whitaker Nicholas Gleaves
Sarah Boyer Robyn Addison
Dexter Anthony Flanagan
Created and written by Adrian Hodges
Based on the novel by Terry Nation
Directors John Alexander
Iain B MacDonald
Executive Producers Susan Hogg
Survivors is a BBC production distributed by BBC Worldwide.
WHAT THE UK PRESS SAID
“This is slick, modern, sophisticated drama. Leading the cast with a sturdy, gutsy performance is Julie Graham as Abby Grant… there is an unexpected twist in the final moments that will leave you eager for more. A welcome shot in the arm for the British fantasy renaissance.”- Observer
“...does science-fiction justice with the perfect balance between the most extreme of ideas and credible execution. Make a date with the apocalypse.” - Mail on Sunday
“…a strong cast led by Julie Graham and Paterson Joseph head this gripping reworking of Terry Nation’s popular Seventies drama … Don’t miss.” - Sunday Telegraph
ABBY GRANT (JULIE GRAHAM)
Abby is a mother and home-maker to her son Peter (11) and husband David (Shaun Dingwall). Before the virus struck, Peter successfully defied a near-terminal illness and Abby had reluctantly agreed to let him go on an adventure holiday. She’d also planned to resume her career and re-ignite her faltering relationship with her loving but exhausted husband. But fate has decreed otherwise, and in the wake of the virus, Abby finds a strength within herself she never knew she had. Refusing to give way to grief and despair, she channels her energy into trying to find her son, who may or may not have survived. Joining forces with a few other survivors, she becomes the leader of the group and a living symbol of the resilience of the human spirit.
GREG PRESTON (PATERSON JOSEPH)
A former systems analyst for a big multi-national, Greg felt trapped and dreamed of a new life. But his wife, who had grown used to a wealthy and comfortable lifestyle, was appalled by his Utopian vision of a new, hard-scrabble future. Nursing bitter personal wounds, Greg is now a man who believes he can live without love, friendship or family, but human nature is not so easily denied.
JENNY COLLINS (FREEMA AGYEMAN)
Jenny is a bright and lively young teacher in a primary school. Overwhelmed by the chaos she sees all around her, she is determined to save the life of her dying flatmate Patricia. Nothing will stop her taking her friend to the hospital and saving her life. But fate intervenes to confront Jenny with choices beyond anything she could have imagined.
TOM PRICE (MAX BEESLEY)
In prison when the story starts, Tom Price is handsome, charming and capable, but also very dangerous. A man who will stop at nothing to achieve his own ends, Price finds himself locked in his cell while all around him, people are dying. As the long night of the virus wears on, survival and freedom become the only issues that matter.
AL SADIQ (PHILLIP RHYS)
A rich, good-looking playboy, Al has lived a life of privilege. In the aftermath of the virus, he finds himself responsible for Najid. Al has never seen himself as the paternal type and he initially proves to be a disaster as a father figure. But strangely, this frightening new environment ultimately makes him a better man than he would ever have been if he had continued his old life.
DR ANYA RACZYNSKI (ZOË TAPPER)
Anya is a young doctor who does her best to save as many people as she can when the virus hits.ut with no cure and no vaccine, all her skill ultimately proves futile. While she struggles with the enormity of events, she’s forced to stand by helplessly as her friend Patricia is among those brought to the hospital in the grip of the illness. In the new world, Anya knows that her skills make her a valuable commodity, the kind of commodity people might kill for.
SAMANTHA WILLIS (NIKKI AMUKA–BIRD)
Samantha is a junior minister delegated to handle the press in the midst of the crisis. Dealing as best she can with an anxious media and her own stunned colleagues, at first Samantha has no idea how serious the crisis is becoming. Forced to put aside her love and concern for her own family, Samantha becomes the last contact between the Government and the people whom it can no longer protect. Her journey from innocence to full knowledge of the truth is laced with bravery and horror.
DAVID GRANT (SHAUN DINGWALL)
David is a self-employed builder, a loving family man who is competent, brave and determined. Abby and David’s marriage is a solid and loving one, although they have been worn down by the illness of their beloved son Peter. But nothing in David’s life has prepared him for the crisis which is about to sweep away everything he ever knew and loved.
NAJID (CHAHAK PATEL)
Eleven-year-old Najid is a lively little boy with all the normal interests of kids of his age – football, his Gameboy, school. He is also a devout Muslim. On the night of the crisis he and his family go to the local mosque, but in the morning Najid is forced to grow up very fast when the virus causes a violent change in his circumstances and his life is transformed in ways he could never have anticipated. His relationship with Al is at times funny and poignant but in the end Al and Najid need each other, no matter how much they try to deny it.
Abby Grant is a mother and housewife, married to David. The couple returns from vacation at the point where a virulent flu virus is beginning to sweep the world. Abby is worried about her 11-year-old son Peter who recently recovered from leukemia and is on a school adventure holiday.
As the crisis deepens, Samantha Willis, Junior Minister for Health, tries to keep public panic under control as essential services start to break down. Elsewhere, in a modern high-security prison, Tom Price, a charismatic and dangerous inmate, is the only one who does not fall ill as the prison becomes a charnel house with prisoners dying one by one.
At a large inner-city hospital, services are at breaking point. Jenny, a bright and lively young teacher in a primary school, is overwhelmed by the chaos she sees all around her – but she is determined to save the life of her roommate Patricia.
Dr Anya Raczynski, a beautiful junior doctor in the Accident and Emergency department, finds she can’t save her best friend Patricia from the virus which is killing virtually everyone who contracts it. In contrast, Al Sadiq, a wealthy playboy, is determined not to let the virus stop him having fun (at this point no one understands how deadly it is). But the following morning, he finds the girl he met at a club the night before dead in his bed.
In the aftermath of the virus, Al finds himself responsible for Najid, a young Muslim boy. Al has never seen himself as the paternal type and initially proves to be a disaster as a father figure.
Greg Preston, a former systems analyst, seems more prepared than most, his car is well stocked and he seems calm in the face of the catastrophe. But when his car is involved in a collision with one of the survivors, Greg’s plans are temporarily derailed.
Meanwhile, Tom manages to escape from prison. He returns home to retrieve a bag full of cash and a gun…
With a dangerous prisoner on the loose, and other survivors who will hoard whatever spoils they can, the brave new world is a precarious place for a mismatched group of Survivors, who must stand together or die.
Abby and her new friends find a house to shelter in and set about gathering the essential supplies they need to stay alive. When they visit a local supermarket they are confronted with Dexter, the leader of an armed gang that has laid claim to the contents. Abby is shocked by how quickly people have resorted to selfishness and violence.
As Dexter’s gang is leaving, Abby sees a face she thinks she recognizes – a teacher who took her son to the hospital before the worst of the virus hit. But the gang departs before she can speak to him. Abby cannot forget about the teacher. Taking Tom with her, she goes back to the supermarket in the hope that Dexter’s gang will return. Dexter soon arrives but he has no interest in helping Abby. Instead he gives them a chilling final warning to stay away.
Greg goes in search of the main supermarket warehouse. When he gets there, he finds Bob Murphy and Sarah Boyer. Bob and Sarah had planned to use the contents of the warehouse to start a trading business, but their plans are halted when Bob has an accident and is severely injured. Greg is able to stabilize Bob’s condition and agrees to stay the night to keep an eye on the patient.
Once Sarah is alone with Greg she tries to seduce him. She needs a man who can protect her and do the heavy work. Greg can see that Sarah wants to use him, but he still finds it hard to resist this beautiful young girl who is throwing herself at him.
Abby stumbles across a community that could hold the key to everyone’s future. The group is led by Samantha Willis – the last surviving member of the Government. She has set up a community that still boasts light, hot water, food and power, all drawn from sustainable sources. Abby and Samantha hit it off immediately and Abby is full of hope that Samantha might lead the remaining population to build a new and better society. Samantha sees that Abby could become a trusted ally, but Abby’s illusions are shattered when she sees the lengths Samantha will go to in order to maintain control of her fledgling community.
Meanwhile, Greg and Tom are out searching for supplies when they encounter a family stranded on an isolated farm. The father has successfully sheltered his children from the virus by keeping them imprisoned in their own home. When the daughter of the family reaches out to Tom and Greg to set her free, they are faced with a terrible dilemma – any contact with them could kill the family.
Abby learns of a group of young boys living at a nearby mansion called Waterhouse. She is determined to see if Peter is there, and leaves her new friends in order to find her son. When she arrives at Waterhouse, she walks into the middle of a land dispute between Jimmy Garland, an ex-Army officer who has an ancestral claim to the mansion, and an aggressive group of teenage boys who have taken up residence there.
In Abby’s absence, her surrogate family is in danger of falling apart. Tom, Sarah, Al and Najid are drawn to the comfort and security that Samantha’s community provides. Tom settles into his new surroundings quickly and starts to see himself in a position of power in the new society that Samantha hopes to build.
Things quickly go wrong for Al, however, as he is ejected from the community when Samantha decides he will not fit in. Tom sees the chance to prove himself to Samantha, but will his criminal past catch up with him?
Greg and Anya, meanwhile, are left to protect the survivors’ house alone, and an encounter with some unwelcome visitors provides a vivid reminder of how vulnerable they are without the group.
When a so-called spiritual leader called John turns up at the survivors’ home with his group of followers, some in the house are suspicious of his motives. Charming and eloquent, John is a preacher with a unique perspective on the new world, but the family’s opinion of him is split. Some find comfort in his message, while others are deeply distrusting of his motives.
Linda, a woman in John’s group, is pregnant, and Abby allows her to stay until the baby is born. Anya fears that she will be forced to reveal the fact that she is a doctor if there are any problems with the birth. Worse than that, she picks up on some unusual remarks made by John, which make her concerned for the group’s safety.
Al is much more positive about John’s group. He spots a pretty woman called Louise and uses his charm to seduce her. He is feeling much more like his old self – until he realises that Louise isn’t as innocent as she seems.
Meanwhile, Anya’s fears are realized when Linda experiences complications and John’s serene façade starts to crumble. As the situation reaches crisis point, Anya is forced to confront some harrowing truths about her own past, putting her relationship with Tom on a new footing. Abby and the others also realize that, through a misguided act of kindness, they have put themselves in terrible jeopardy.
Abby and her friends find themselves on the run from Samantha and Dexter, who have formed a dangerous alliance that threatens everyone’s freedom. Meanwhile, Sarah is confronted by a face from the past which leads her to betray her new friends. When Naj goes missing, the family is forced to face the dangers of the city in order to find him. Their food and water supplies have been stolen from their car by desperate urban survivors, so they know they may not be able to survive long enough to find Naj. The family is nearly torn apart when Greg and Abby find themselves on opposite sides of an argument.
Meanwhile, Naj is befriended by a feral boy named Darren who lives with the sinister Craig and June. They look after a group of children who forage amid the ruins of the city, in return for shelter and protection.
Naj soon sees that Craig is ruthlessly exploiting Darren and the others but, without Abby, he faces a struggle to save himself. With his adopted family searching for him in the deserted city, time is rapidly running out and Dexter is only a step behind them all…
(More Synopses TK)
Monday, December 28, 2009
Madsen's Blue Jewelry
Just Right for
Virginia Madsen attends the premiere of "Avatar" in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009. Madsen wore platinum jewelry by Neil Lane -- a brooch, earrings and a cocktail ring with diamonds and turquoise...all set in platinum. (Fashion Wire Daily/Maria Ramirez)